Soldier fined for drunken outburst at Cardinal Park
A ‘model soldier’ has apologised for his ‘disgraceful’ drunken outburst in Ipswich.
Sapper Liam Robertson, based at Rock Barracks, near Woodbridge, was fined almost £700 for assault, criminal damage, and drunk and disorderly behaviour in Cardinal Park on Friday, April 4.
The 20-year-old was described to magistrates as an ordinarily quiet, humble, key member of his troop, with a self-destructive weakness for “going on a bender”.
The incident began when Robertson refused to leave a roped seating area of the Subway sandwich store after takeaway-only service began at 11pm.
Staff felt compelled to leave the drunken soldier lying down until the arrival of a night security guard at 1.30am, when Robertson got up and swayed outside, but soon attempted to return.
When prevented from doing so by the guard, who offered to call him a taxi or help find his friends, Robertson said he had no money and had lost his friends, insisting he was cold and wanted to enter.
Prosecutor Tess Mann said a scuffle broke out between the pair as Robertson grabbed the security guard's hand-portable radio.
“During the tussle, the radio aerial snapped off,” she added.
“Another security guard came to help as the defendant became evermore aggressive.”
Police were then called to the scene, not by security staff, but by Robertson, who was still acting in a drunk and abusive manner when officers arrived.
Solicitor Michael Whatley said: “This was a quite disgraceful incident – make no bones about it.
“He admits it was disgraceful and accepts staff were just trying to help.
“I don't think I'd be gilding the lily to describe him as a model soldier, with an Achilles' heel, in that when he has money, he goes out on a bender and can't recall what happened.
“He is full of remorse and will be punished by the army, which he has brought into disrepute, as well as himself.”
Robertson's staff sergeant told magistrates he was shocked by the behaviour of an “enthusiastic, keen and motivated individual”, who had since been offered alcohol management counselling.
Robertson offered an apology and vowed never to return before magistrates, who called the offence “reckless and needless”, fining him £236 for criminal damage, £335 for assault, and £118 for being drunk and disorderly. He must also pay £100 compensation.
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